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Psychoanalysis as a therapeutic practice and its philosophical sense

Alla Sokolova Group 51 (501)

.. Psychoanalysis as a type of treatment ………………………………………………..13 .. 4 2... The Psychoanalytic Tradition …………………………………………………………9 5. Psychoanalysis as a “Theory of the Mind” ……………………………………………7 3...10 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………..…12 References ……………………………………………………………………………….... 3 1.. Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis …………………………………………………8 4.....2013 Table of contents Introduction ………………………………………………………………........2 ZHYTOMYR .. Conscious/Unconscious ………………………………………………………………..

art. development and experience. group behavior. And it is a method of treatment for psychological problems and difficulties in living a successful life. psychoanalysis also furthers our understanding of the role of emotions in health as well as in medical illness. As a general theory of individual human behavior and experience. . and literature. motivation. Through its examination of the complex relationship between body and mind. history. that the past shapes the present that human beings are always engaged in the process of development throughout their lives. feelings and experiences) which influence his or her thoughts and actions.3 Introduction Psychoanalysis has a double identity. psychoanalysis contributes to child psychology. It is a comprehensive theory about human nature. that there are factors outside of a person's awareness (unconscious thoughts. psychoanalytic ideas enrich and are enriched by the study of the biological and social sciences. philosophy. As a developmental theory. education. law. behavior. and family studies. The psychoanalytic framework stresses the importance of understanding: that each individual is unique.

emotion and behavior. and together you and the analyst refine your understanding of the patterns that limit you or cause you pain. From the beginning of therapy. which enables you to become more aware of aspects of your internal experience previously hidden. Analysis can be viewed as an intimate partnership. and helps the individual to cope better with the realities of their current life situation. or guilt-provoking. in the ways you relate to the analyst. The analyst helps to identify these patterns. patient and analyst work together to build up a safe and trusting relationship that enables the patient to experience aspects of his or her inner life that have been hidden because they are painful. considers how they have changed and developed over time. embarrassing. the patient typically comes four times a week. and attempts to communicate as openly and freely as possible. lies on a couch. going over them again and again with the analyst and experiencing .4 1. In psychoanalysis. thought and emotion. Treatment traces theses patterns back to their historical origins. the advice of friends and family. in the course of which the patient becomes aware of the underlying sources of his or her difficulties. not simply intellectually but emotionally as well – in part by re-experiencing them with the analyst. Because these factors are unconscious. Psychoanalytic treatment explores how these unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of thought. in the subjects which you find hard to talk about. These conditions create the analytic setting. During the years that an analysis takes place. Psychoanalysis as a type of treatment Psychoanalysis is based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of the factors that determine their emotions and behavior. As you speak. thinking and behaving. and help you elaborate new and more productive ways of feeling. saying whatever comes to mind. hints of the roots of current difficulties that have been out of your awareness gradually begin to appear – in certain repetitive patterns of behavior. the reading of self-help books. or even the most determined efforts will often fail to provide enough relief. you wrestle with these insights.

your analyst is prepared to help you understand your experience – even if what you have to say is uncomfortable or seems . allowing you to take the lead. to help you understand why you think and feel and do things the way you do. Also. your analyst will help you develop a greater understanding of the internal forces that are behind the difficulties that lead you to seek help. Instead of providing more advice. including the freedom of your mind to range freely in thought and feeling. you will change in deep and meaningful ways. Gradually. this will enable you to change patterns that no longer work for you. In the end. You and the analyst join in efforts not only to modify crippling life patterns and remove incapacitating symptoms.5 them in your daily life. without undue interference. Before beginning psychoanalytic treatment. It is very likely that problems in relationships are a part of the reason why you originally sought treatment. In contrast to a friend. both negative and positive. you may notice changes in your behavior. He or she will listen carefully to what you have to say. relationships and sense of self. Relationships are often a source of conflict. a relative or a boss. with your analyst—including any thoughts and feelings you have about your analyst. This may feel strange at first – people quite naturally expect their analyst to tell them what to talk about or to give them advice about how to solve their problems. let you structure the sessions and set an agenda. is a vital part of the analytic process. You may find that your analyst will talk less once the treatment begins. But learning to watch where your thoughts and associations take you. He or she will speak when he or she has something to add to what you are saying. It will be important to discuss your intimate thoughts and feelings about significant people in your life. but also to expand your freedom to enjoy intimate relationships and professional and personal pursuits. One of the key goals of analysis is freedom. and they are an important source of information in psychotherapy. many people find it helpful to learn about some of the specific kinds of experiences that people often have when they start in analysis. and dreams. fantasies. psychoanalysts understand that even the best direction and advice is limited in its potential to help you make meaningful and lasting changes in ingrained patterns of behavior and emotion.

if you think your analyst is condescending. So. or absurd is often the key to something very important. he or she will help provide you with a new understanding. Most patients actually prefer to work this way and become quite comfortable once they get accustomed to lying down. At first. attractive or unkind – whatever you are thinking or feeling at the moment – it is wise to share it with him or her. Before long. people edit many of their thoughts and feelings. intelligent. your analyst will encourage you to share your thoughts and feelings regarding your relationship with him or her. Your analyst won't have any preconceived notions about what is right or what is wrong for you or what the best solution would be. For example. One way the analyst does this is by encouraging you to speak as openly and freely as possible. may hurt other people's feelings. Your analyst will facilitate the therapeutic process by offering you use of the couch. or is simply absurd. overprotective.6 inappropriate or rude. or may have never even put them into words before. trivial. you may find it difficult to talk about how you are experiencing your analyst. Ordinarily. Lying on the couch and not looking at the analyst may seem strange at first but in most cases enables patients to think and feel more freely and spontaneously about their internal experience – and to express themselves without excessive concern about the analyst’s reaction. What you think is too personal. You will find that with your analyst you will be able to talk about anything that comes to your mind. sharing everything in your experience – whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind at the moment in session. Analysis is the only treatment in which the patient lies on a couch and does not look at the analyst. or trivial. because they feel what they have to say is too personal. you will find that you are able to talk freely and openly and you and your analyst will be able to collaborate in useful and unexpected ways that will help you grow. hurtful. . just like the important issues that brought you into treatment. Whatever the concern – it doesn't matter – it is important to share it with your analyst. and rather than repeating with you the sort of patterns you may encounter in life. clueless.

Together. It is important for you to talk about leaving treatment with your analyst before you stop coming. or boredom. education. psychoanalytic insight can enrich the understanding of human beings. you and your analyst will decide when to end your treatment. the arts. You may feel all your difficulties have vanished and you are ready to move on. this means feelings of anxiety or depression or crying episodes which may make you worry that you are getting worse. or spinning ones wheels. it means periods of silence. and delays. transference and development. Sometimes you may even not want to come to sessions. 2. or excitement. Using the uniquely psychoanalytic explanatory tools of the unconscious. and will spend some time processing the decision. among others. psychoanalysis is also a comprehensive. advertising. . It has many applications.7 While analysis is productive and useful in a number of ways. Or the opposite may be true. or a sense that nothing therapeutic is being accomplished. when you and your analyst review and organize your understanding of the work you have done together. literature. you will encounter apparent roadblocks along the way. This period can be a most productive period of work. For some. Psychoanalysis as a “Theory of the Mind” In addition to being a specialized type of therapy. a period to be mutually determined over the course of time by you and your analyst. therefore. diversions. their behaviors and motivations in a wide range of arenas from business to politics to sports. in-depth theory of the mind. Real lasting change does not come easy and is often accompanied by unexpected discomforts. and popular culture. For some. the law. You can be assured that such negative thoughts are completely to be expected. analytic treatment is open-ended. family relations. and they are typically a good indication that you are working on important issues. The treatment typically lasts for a number of years. To promote the kind of growth and change that analysis aims to accomplish requires time and energy. and when you process your experience of ending this period of working together.

in addition. and that they can become angry and vengeful when idealized figures disappoint them. offshoots of adult psychoanalysis. what motivates. and the infinite variation of human experience. attachment. ideals. Although psychoanalysis began as a tool for ameliorating emotional suffering. The goal of child and adolescent analysis is the removal of symptoms and of the psychological roadblocks that interfere with normal development. This psychoanalytic concept. a method for learning about the mind. longing. insecurity. Essentially. but also through drawings and fantasy play. can be extremely valuable in understanding certain political phenomena. it is not only a therapy. In the treatment of all but late adolescents. we know that human beings often have a powerful. but it looks at these phenomena and tells a story from a unique perspective – “what lies beneath” the surface. The themes of psychoanalysis are those found in great literature – power. share with it a common theoretical framework for understanding psychological life. It is. psychoanalysis is about the story of human beings. unconscious need to idealize their leaders and others in authority. inspires and sometimes cripples them. isolation. 3. ambition. while also using additional techniques and measures to deal with the special capacities and vulnerabilities of children. psychoanalysis has. parents are usually consulted to round out the picture of the child's life. Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis Child and adolescent psychoanalysis. developed a set of useful understandings about common human psychological experiences. over the decades. and also a theory. For instance. The careful studies of psychoanalysts have enabled us to develop an explanatory theory that puts these great passions in context and allows us to predict the course they may take.8 While always acknowledging the uniqueness of the individual. and so on. a way of understanding the processes of normal everyday mental functioning and the stages . For example. the young patient is helped to reveal his or her inner feelings and worries not only through words. one of many hundreds.

Many of his insights into the human mind. it has had a profound influence on many aspects of 21st century culture. As a developmental theory. psychoanalytic ideas enrich and are enriched by the study of the biological and social sciences. Although others before and during his time had begun to recognize the role of unconscious mental activity. Furthermore. history. philosophy. family. the insights of psychoanalysis form the underpinnings of much of the psychotherapy employed in most other individual. Although his ideas met with antagonism and resistance. Through its examination of the complex relationship between body and mind. that unconscious conflict plays a part in determining both normal and abnormal behavior. which seemed so revolutionary at the turn of the century. Freud believed deeply in the value of his discoveries and rarely simplified or exaggerated them for the sake of popular acceptance. Whatever the modifications. since psychoanalysis seeks to explain how the human mind works. In addition. education. and that the past shapes the present. As a general theory of individual human behavior and experience. psychoanalytic knowledge is the basis of all other dynamic approaches to therapy. and literature. law. In so doing. it contributes insight into whatever the human mind produces. and group therapies. psychoanalysis also furthers our understanding of the role of emotions in health as well as in medical illness. 4.9 of normal development from infancy to old age. and family studies. group behavior. psychoanalysis contributes to child psychology. Through his extensive work with patients and through his theory building. Freud was the preeminent pioneer in understanding its importance. The Psychoanalytic Tradition Sigmund Freud was the first psychoanalyst. He saw that those who sought to change themselves or others must face . he showed that factors which influence thought and action exist outside of awareness. art. are now widely accepted by most schools of psychological thought.

But he also showed us that. for . the ideas of psychoanalysis did not "freeze" with the work of the field's founder a century ago. Conscious/Unconscious In the late nineteenth century. 5. Building on the foundational ideas and ideals of Freud and his contemporaries. and that by using this knowledge for greater self-awareness. they believe that psychoanalysis is the strongest and most sophisticated tool for obtaining further knowledge of the mind. and they therefore remain skeptical of the quick cure. But psychoanalysts today still appreciate the persistent power of the irrational in shaping or limiting human lives. while the dark and blind forces in human nature sometimes seem overwhelming.10 realistic difficulties. psychological understanding. the trendy or sensationalistic. psychoanalysis has continued to grow and develop as a general theory of human mental functioning. and improve and deepen human relationships. patients free themselves from incapacitating suffering. Like Freud. Like any other field of inquiry. change. yet these approaches all share the aim of helping patients bring to their consciousness what is unconscious or difficult to acknowledge. and psychoanalytic practice has adapted and expanded. psychoanalysis. which had at its basis the discovery of the unconscious. the deceptively easy answer. He pursued a theory of treatment to help patients bring traumatic memories and their accompanying affect into consciousness in ways that would allow them to form associative connection with other conscious thoughts and achieve expression. while always maintaining a profound respect for the uniqueness of each individual life. by enlarging the realm of reason and responsibility. can make a substantial difference to troubled individuals and even to civilization as a whole. Ferment. Freud formulated a theory of the human mind. and new ideas have enriched the field. There are currently diverse approaches to treatment within psychoanalysis. Unconscious occurrences may include.

While sleep. hypnagogia. Terms related to semi-consciousness include: awakening. Thus the unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts (those that appear without any apparent cause). hidden phobias and desires. affect. dreaming. and the locus of implicit knowledge (the things that we have learned so well that we do them without thinking).11 example. subliminal messages. impulses. The concept was developed and popularized by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. fantasies. and motivation. It has been argued that consciousness is influenced by other parts of the mind. an individual's vulnerabilities. as well as in slips of the tongue and jokes. trances. but rather symptoms. and comas may signal the presence of unconscious processes.[1] It contains thoughts. guilt. In psychoanalytic theory. sleep walking. unconscious processes are understood to be expressed in dreams in a symbolical form. and automatic reactions. and desires that exist well under the surface of conscious awareness but that still exert a great impact on behavior. memories. and include thought processes. and hypnosis. habits. thoughts. and intuition.[1] and possibly also complexes. The unconscious mind (or the unconscious) consists of the processes in the mind that occur automatically and are not available to introspection. tensions. The term was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. . memory. Psychoanalysis encourages us to search for personal truthfulness and focuses specifically on the irrational dimensions of our mental life. these processes are not the unconscious mind itself. as it applies rational procedures to achieve its goals. being unaware. One of the goals of psychoanalysis is to help the patient develop insight into his/her unconscious processes. automatic skills. implicit memory. the repository of forgotten memories (that may still be accessible to consciousness at some later time). subliminal perceptions. or urges. Empirical evidence suggests that unconscious phenomena include repressed feelings. motives. These include unconsciousness as a personal habit. delirium.

Hence. Some feel a painful but vague sense of unease and emptiness. a sturdy individual.substantially limits their choices and their pleasures. Many people come to analysis because of a pattern of repeated failures in work or in love.12 Conclusion Psychoanalysis is an effective treatment for many people with moderate to severe difficulties and who have had unsuccessful attempts with briefer therapies. . The person best able to undergo psychoanalysis is someone who. or potentially. And still others seek analysis definitively to resolve psychological problems that were only temporarily or partially resolved by other approaches. in work. Still. Because analysis is a highly individualized treatment.but is nonetheless significantly impaired by longstanding symptoms: depression or anxiety. Whatever the problem . in marriage. it can be properly understood only within the context of that person's strengths and life situation.and who will not . Others need analysis because the way they are .their character .from psychoanalysis. sexual incapacities. no matter how incapacitated at the time. or physical symptoms without any demonstrable underlying physical cause. is basically.and each is different . people who wish to know if they would benefit from it should seek consultation with an experienced psychoanalyst. the need for a thorough evaluation to determine who will benefit . This person may have already achieved important satisfactions . or through special interests and hobbies . Others recognize self destructive patterns of behavior they are unable to change.that a person brings to the analyst. some generalizations can be made.with friends.

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